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O'Neill signs two-year deal with Sydney FC

NZN 13/12/2016 Emma Kemp

Sydney FC have locked in the first of several off-contract players, re-signing talented young midfielder Brandon O'Neill for a further two A-League seasons.

O'Neill opted to remain with the Sky Blues until the end of the 2018-19 campaign, despite form that's believed to have attracted interest from other clubs including former side Perth.

"My game has developed so much in my first 18 months with the club and that's thanks to the help and support of the people here as well as my teammates," the 22-year-old said.

"I'm looking forward to spending the next two years of my career here and winning some silverware."

Table-topping Sydney will look to tie down another dozen players off contract, as talks continue over a new deal for coach Graham Arnold.

Arnold said O'Neill had all the attributes to become a top-class midfielder, as evidenced through his successful partnership with this season Josh Brillante.

"He is a role model for any young and aspiring player out there and I'm certain he will see further success and recognition in his career," Arnold said.

In less positive news, striker Matt Simon will miss Saturday's away clash with Perth after being hit with a one-match ban for "serious unsporting conduct" against Melbourne City's Michael Jakobsen.

Simon appeared to throw his shoulder into Jakobsen's head during one of several fiery confrontations with the Danish defender late in Friday night's 1-1 draw at ANZ Stadium.

Referee Kris Griffiths-Jones did not sanction the 30-year-old forward during the game but the match review panel found enough reason to issue him a show-cause notice on Monday.

While the Sky Blues lodged a submission on his behalf, the panel ruled Simon's behaviour constituted serious unsporting conduct and warranted a one-match suspension.

Sydney chief executive Tony Pignata said the outcome was disappointing.

"We felt he didn't have a case to answer," Pignata said.

"But we accept the decision and we move on."

With Simon being a regular substitute for Sydney FC, it means David Carney or George Blackwood are set to move to the bench for the Glory match.

Sydney will also be missing Brillante, sent off during the City game, and likely to be replaced by Milos Dimitrijevic.

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